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Culture, Conflict and Migration

Culture, Conflict and Migration: The Irish in Victorian Cumbria

Copyright Date: 1998
Edition: 1
Pages: 256
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  • Book Info
    Culture, Conflict and Migration
    Book Description:

    A major study of Catholic and Protestant Irish in an important but neglected centre of historic Irish settlement where communal violence and Irish-related antipathy bore the hallmarks of the Liverpool and Glasgow experiences.

    eISBN: 978-1-84631-289-2
    Subjects: Anthropology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. List of figures and tables
    (pp. viii-ix)
  4. Note on the text
    (pp. x-x)
  5. [Maps]
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Preface
    (pp. xiii-xxii)
  7. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  8. CHAPTER 1 Culture, conflict and migration: themes and perspectives
    (pp. 1-26)

    ‘In spite of nearly thirty years in an English industrial town’, Peter Donnelly wrote in his autobiography, ‘my parents are still peasants, retaining the outlook they had when they just left home.’¹ Donnelly’s family migrated—perhaps just after the Great War—from Yellow Rock, ‘a hillside in South Armagh’, to the north Lancashire shipbuilding town of Barrow-in-Furness, when he was six years of age. Like most of those who settled in west Cumbria, Donnelly was an Ulsterman by birth; unlike the majority, his early life afforded him great opportunities. Donnelly went to Ushaw college, County Durham, to study for the...

  9. CHAPTER 2 Patterns of arrival and settlement
    (pp. 27-63)

    Nineteenth-century Cumbria did not conform to the typical northern English model of Irish migration. This was due to a number of geographic and economic factors which significantly affected the nature of Irish arrival. In terms of the economy, the area had more in common with Scotland and the north east than with the developing regions of south and central Lancashire. During the nineteenth century, iron and coal became the staple industries of west Cumberland while for Furness (around Barrow) the same was true of iron, steel and ships. This economic development resulted in four major types of Irish settling in...

  10. CHAPTER 3 Work
    (pp. 64-98)

    The majority of the Irish in nineteenth-century Britain were economic migrants. The fact that migration coincided with early industrialisation, allied to the pace and scale of arrival, encouraged contemporaries to see Irish immigration as inextricably linked to the growing social problems of the day. As such, the growing Irish community was an important and much observed feature of the new industrial landscape. To Engels, for example, Irish workers were a reserve army of labour; hapless instruments of employers’ grand plans for industrial expansion and personal profit; tools of terror to prise apart the nascent working class. Indeed, employers generally supported...

  11. CHAPTER 4 Catholicism and nationalism
    (pp. 99-136)

    When John Denvir, the Liverpool home-rule campaigner, conducted his survey of the Irish in Britain, following the fall of Parnell, he noted three Irish populations in Cumberland. The first was, he claimed, Catholic and committed to the national cause; the second, also Catholic, was opposed to it; while the third he described with venom as ‘Orangemen’. Denvir went on to say: ‘There is no part of Great Britain where the Irish nationalists are better organised’, adding that many Cumbrian Irishmen could be relied upon ‘to give his vote for his country in the ballot box, or do a man’s part...

  12. CHAPTER 5 The emergence and identity of Orangeism
    (pp. 137-169)

    Throughout the Victorian period Orangemen upheld conservative, Protestant values with a ‘sacrosanct rigidity’.¹ It was this very system of belief, the Revd J. B. McKenzie of Whitehaven argued, that meant Orangemen ‘would defend the principles of the Bible to the utmost of their power to carry out the progress of work which was so auspiciously inaugurated by William of Orange [Applause]’.² While views like these naturally attracted sympathetic contemporaries, among the English and Scots, the Orange Order also epitomised the tension which existed between Victorian notions of religious liberty and law and order; indeed this presented a dilemma to those...

  13. CHAPTER 6 Sectarian violence and communal division
    (pp. 170-202)

    ‘Violence’, Ian Gilmour argues, ‘appears inseparable from the human condition, though its degree is subject to wild fluctuations.’¹ The violence of any society depends upon its culture, history and institutions. These factors, as well as questions of class and ethnicity, were clearly central to the tradition of violence which welcomed Irish settlers in Britain in the last century. Economically, for example, Irish migrants were perceived by the indigenous working class as a threat to native living standards, while their utility to employers allegedly weakened the class project of the emerging industrial proletariat. Culturally, anti-Catholicism set the majority of migrants apart...

  14. Conclusions
    (pp. 203-211)

    By examining Irish experiences in Cumbria, a previously neglected region which nevertheless had historic attachments to Ireland through trade and proximity, this study has significantly enhanced our understanding of Irish migration. It has revealed much about patterns of settlement and communal development outside the principal receptacles of Irish migrants, such as Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow. The Cumbrian dimension has also forced our attentions away from the Famine generations, for the timing of industrialisation and urban growth in the region necessitated analysis of the settlement and development of Irish communities in the later Victorian period, particularly between the 1860s and the...

  15. Select bibliography
    (pp. 212-230)
  16. Index
    (pp. 231-240)